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This information is provided by Provet for educational purposes only.

You should seek the advice of your veterinarian if your pet is ill as only he or she can correctly advise on the diagnosis and recommend the treatment that is most appropriate for your pet.

"Snuffles" is a general term for respiratory diseases in rabbits which may cause discharges from the eyes, discharges from the nose, sneezing, noisy breathing, coughing and difficulty breathing. 

Some of these signs are very similar to those that humans develop with common infections such as colds and flu and this is one of the reasons why owners sometimes do not seek veterinary attention early in the course of these diseases....because they presume that it is a mild disease and the rabbit will get over it very quickly.

Unfortunately, what appears to be a mild eye infection (like conjunctivitis) at first can pretty soon develop into a serious, often fatal, respiratory tract infection with pneumonia. 

The main infectious agents that may be involved are :

  • Pasteurella
  • Staphylococcus
  • and Bordatella

Rabbits have retained an instinctive behaviour to hide the fact that they are ill - so once you notice any signs at all the disease is usually very advanced. As soon as you notice any signs of illness isolate the affected rabbit from any others that you might have. An affected rabbit can deteriorate very quickly, so take it to your veterinarian so that an accurate diagnosis can be made and treatment started as soon as possible.

Sometimes these infections are triggered by stress of some sort of stress, so examine the environment and your feeding practices to identify if there are any problems. 


Updated October 2013